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Kneading dough with a KitchenAid Hook

Anyone who kneads bread dough for a long time knows that it’s much more than just mixing ingredients. It’s an art that requires patience and to some extent skillful expertise.

As reiterated, kneading dough not only combines the ingredients used, it also increases its elasticity, which allows the yeast to do its job in the dough.

This eventually leads to the formation of gluten, which is a binder that ensures your pastry does not fall apart when baking.

Gluten.

Gluten is essentially protein which is found in wheat products. When backing bread, gluten is important, as it is essentially the net that holds the bread together, helping the dough to rise through trapping gas bubbles together during the fermentation process thus giving the bread its unique texture and flavor.

Mixing and kneading of bread dough are important as it enables the development of gluten, which begins during the mixing process.

The essence of mixing the ingredients is to ensure proper hydration of flour, ensuring that water is evenly distributed throughout the flour.

Kneading the dough with a stand mixer

One of the easiest and time-efficient ways to knead dough is to use a stand mixer.

Knead on low speed for 3 minutes, or until it clings to hook and cleans from the sides of the bowl.

Mixing bread using a stand mixer normally takes 10-12 minutes, and it also depends on the speed of your mixer.

How to use a KitchenAid bread-dough hook.

A bread-dough hook attachment, which is one of the attachments available for KitchenAid stand mixers. Unlike other KitchenAid beater attachments, the dough hook attachment consists of dough hook which turns, folds and reuses the dough in the mixing bowl.

In order to effectively use the bread-dough attachment;

  • Combine all the wet bread ingredients with half of the flour in the bowl of the KitchenAid mixer.
  • Thereafter, proceed to switch on the KitchenAid, while lifting the motor in order to access the attachment compartment located on the underside of the mixer.
  • Proceed to fit the paddle attachment back into its slot, then tilt the motor back down, while locking it.
  • After this, set the KitchenAid mixer to low, while stirring the ingredients together to ensure they are well combined.
  • Switch the paddle attachment back to the dough hook, making sure to unlock the motor tilt, lifting and pulling out the paddle attachment, while replacing it with the dough hook.
  • Thereafter, proceed to lock the mixer back into its original place after tilting the motor assembly back, so that the dough attachment hook is set back into the mixing bowl.
  • Using the remaining flour, add that back into the bowl, using low speed while mixing, until a smooth elastic ball is formed.

Alternatively, you can turn off the KitchenAid mixer, pulling the kneaded bread from the hook by hand, and deposit the same into the Kitchenaid bowl.

Thereafter, lower the same bowl from its raised position while turning the metal handle from the side to the down position.

Doing this would ensure your dough is well kneaded and ready to be used.

It is important to note that kneading using a mixer may use significantly lesser time than kneading using the hand method would.

In fact, when using speed 2 of the KitchenAid mixer, 2 minutes of kneading would be more than enough.

When using a lower speed, more or less of five minutes is enough to knead the dough.

Also, see; How long to Knead Bread Dough in the KitchenAid Mixer.

How to recognize a proper functioning KitchenAid mixer bread dough attachment

One of the best ways to find out about the kneading processes and functioning of the mixer is to listen to what happens to the dough when kneading.

If you are whipping something simple such as cream, you can hear consistent and even grinding sounds from the mixer.

However, if the Kitchenaid mixer is not well functioning, the humming and grinding sounds are different. If you pay closer attention, you can even hear the change in tone and the gradual slowing process as the hooks presses onto the dough.

If the mixer cannot handle the dough, the hooks also start rotating much slower than normal, and you may also find the need to use more force.

What to do when the bread dough hook gets wrapped around the kneading hook.

Before finding ways of removing the sticky dough from your dough hook, you must first understand the reasons why this would happen.

In actual fact, the two reasons why your dough would get wrapped around your dough hook is inadequate water or inadequate dough.

When making the dough by hand, having it drier would ensure it gets conveniently worked. It is also easier and less strenuous when the dough is drier.

On the other hand, when using your KitchenAid hook attachment, the dough needs to be softer and able to touch the sides of the bowl. The dough ought to be dry enough to pull away easily from the sides of the bowl, leaving them cleaner.

However, it should also stay wet enough to remain very soft and still tacky when touched. Having a softer dough would mean better consistency for the bread as well.

If you are a frequent user of the KitchenAid bread dough hook attachment, you may encounter the problem of having your dough getting wrapped around your kneading hook.

There are several conventional and unconventional methods you may use to ensure this doesn’t happen.

Firstly, as you knead the dough using your mixer, check from time to time on the dryness and the consistency of the dough.

  • Do not knead using your mixer continuously for more than 2 minutes at a go. For instance, you can use a strong spatula to cut the dough off the hook when it accumulates significantly, to give it the best restart for dough outside of the hook.
  • To do this effectively, make sure your dough is dry enough so that it can easily clean itself off the hook without much hassle.
  • Remember that the hook is designed to find its perfect balance, such that it becomes wet and sticky at the beginning, but as the gluten starts webbing, it becomes self-cleaning.

Another alternative, if the hook gets wrapped in the dough instead of the sides of the bowl, briefly turns up the speed of the mixer and this will throw the dough to the sides of the bowl cleaning it in the process.

One of the best solutions is to gradually add the liquids in the bowl while kneading using the KitchenAid mixer.

Dumping all the liquids in the mixer at once and fast kneading may not only prove disastrous, it can mean the dough gets stuck on the dough hook.

You should add the liquid into the bowl bit by bit at the start, then start the KitchenAid mixer. Knead using your mixer, and once all the fluid gets absorbed by the flour, add in the rest of the ingredients.

This can make all the difference. However, as you knead more frequently using your Kitchenaid hook attachment, you will soon find the right consistency and volume that your Kitchenaid mixer will be able to handle.

You may consider playing with recipes, and identify your own unique methods of using the dough hook attachment, and prevent wrapping of dough around the same.

On the other hand, adjustment problems could determine the difference between well mixed and sticky dough that wraps around the dough hook. For instance, you can consider adjusting the height of your bowl as you mix the dough. Information about this is very easily available on online tutorials, or even YouTube videos.

If you have a screwdriver at home, you can also consider using it to adjust the height of the bowl.

In spite of all these approaches, if you still find your dough sticking to your dough hook, you may consider letting the mixer perform all the hard work, but finish up the rest by hand for a couple of minutes.

For instance, you can knead for a few minutes in the KitchenAid mixer, then work out the rest by hand kneading until the dough forms the right desired consistency as you prefer. This can work best if you are using a small amount of flour, such as 1kg flour with 600 ml of water.

It can also be a preferred method if you are using dough that needs to stay overnight (such as dough which contains yeast.)

After this, you can knead it by hand for a few minutes, to retain its final smoothness and consistency.

Rather than spending ten minutes of your time kneading the dough by hand, not to mention the strenuous effort involved, you should try to use the KitchenAid mixer bread-dough hook attachment to make bread.

The right Kitchenaid bread dough hook attachment can make all the difference regarding consistency, texture, and quality of your dough. Actually, anything which needs kneading can benefit through the use of the dough hook attachment.

Also, see; Best Stand Mixer Under $100

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